A Little Book of Ledwidge
Size: 215 mm x 138 mm
Publisher: Veritas Publications
I grew up down a country lane in a place not far from Slane in County Meath. Our village has a hill where Patrick’s fire once blazed and a little house where a poet became a soldier who died at Ypres.
Born in 1887, the eighth of nine children, Francis Ledwidge’s story is a chronicle of his age. A bright young boy, he finished school at 14 and went to Rathfarnham as a grocer’s ‘curate’ but one night he quit and walked back home. He became a farm labourer and later got a job at a nearby copper mine from which he was sacked for leading a strike over dangerous conditions.
This beautiful book, compiled by John Quinn, tells how Ledwidge came under the patronage of Lord Dunsany, who opened a vast library to him, which also included Keats and Shelley. The publication cites this testimony from his patron: ‘I was astonished by the brilliance of that eye that had looked at the fields of Meath and seen there all the simple birds and flowers, with a vividness that made those pages like a magnifying glass, through which one looked at familiar things seen thus for the first time’. Generations of school-going children will remember his finest poem ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry’, a lament for Thomas McDonagh.
Ledwidge was an artist and, we can even say, a composer of the soundtrack to our rural setting. His verses recreate the smell of hedgerows and the blackbird’s song at early dawn. But his romanticism was no retreat to a melancholic idyll. Whilst at home, he experienced poverty and heartbreak. He identified with the plight of the working poor and found himself caught up in the national question, torn between his allegiance to the Irish Volunteers and what Seamus Heaney called his ‘moral fortitude’, enlisting as a soldier in the Great War. In Ledwidge’s own words, ‘I entered the British army because she stood between Ireland and an enemy common to our civilisation.’
The selected poems and letters convey the horror of the battlefield and the ever-present reality of d
— Veritas Publications
Click and Collect - Free
Click & Collect is available across Ireland and Northern Ireland in our Veritas stores. We will contact you when your item(s) are ready for collection. Please visit your branch after you receive contact from us that your items are available to collect. The order will be ready for you within 2-5 working days, subject to opening hours, order volumes, if the item is in stock and time order is placed.
Standard Express Delivery
Complimentary shipping within Ireland & Northern of Ireland is available on orders over €50, delivery fees will be added according to the area of delivery, as described below:
|Country Zone||Under €50||Over €50||TimeFrame|
|Ireland||€6.50||Free!||3-7 working days|
|Northern Ireland||€6.50||Free!||3-7 working days|
|UK||€12.00||€15.00||3-7 working days|
|Europe||€17.00||€25.00||3-7 working days|
|USA & Canada||€35.00||€50.00||7-14 working days|
|Rest of the World||€50.00||€50.00||7-21 working days|
|Country Zone||Under €500||Above €500||TimeFrame|
|Ireland||€6.00||Free!||3-7 working days|
|Northern Ireland||€6.00||Free!||3-7 working days|
|UK||€12.00||Free!||3-7 working days|
• Click and collect orders are "free" as there is no shipping involved.
• If the order after discount is applied is below €50 or €500 (trade or School orders), shipping will be charged.
• EUA, Canada and Rest of the World shipping charges are for parcels with maximum weight of 2kg.
• These time frames are a guide and shipping times may vary, especially at busy periods.
• Please allow a few days leeway for personalised products or pre-orders.
• We are aware of some shipping delays throughout Europe and the USA caused by unforcing circusntances or territorial border control restrictions. This is out of our control. Please allow a few days leeway for your delivery.
• Subject to placing your order before 12:30pm. Does not apply to pre-ordered items.
• Check on our Delivery Policy page, the delivery areas. We do not deliver to Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
To commemorate the centenary of Francis Ledwidge's death in the Battle of Passchendaele, John Quinn has compiled a selection of writings, both by Ledwidge and those closest to him. These poems, diary entries and letters follow Ledwidge's life from budding poet in County Meath to soldier facing the horrors of the battle on the western front. We discover, through Ledwidge's colourful verse, his reactions to the world around him, life as an Irish soldier in the British Army during the First World War, and his response to the execution of close friend Thomas McDonagh in the Easter Rising of 1916. Featuring an assessment by Seamus Heaney, this book will make a fine addition to any poetry and history lover's collection.